15 September 2009

Najib breaks down GLC-government walls

By Lee Wei Lian

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 15 — Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants a more seamless environment between government linked companies (GLCs) and the government and this evening he unveiled an exchange programme where selected GLC staff will be seconded to the government and vice versa.

The initiative, called the Government-GLC cross fertilisation programme, comes right after Najib proposed earlier today to open up key positions in the government to talent from the private sector and GLCs in an attempt to modernise the civil service.

The proposal, said the prime minister, was part of structural changes to the civil service Where the best would be selected in an attempt benefit from the “cross fertilisation” process between talents from the civil service and the private sector.

”Why don’t we develop a seamless system and do a mutual exchange of the best from the GLCs and the government? Why don’t we engage in this cross fertilisation so that we produce high performing leaders of the future,” said Najib after meeting with the Putrajaya Committee on GLC High Performance.

The first batch of about 40 staff were selected to participate in the cross fertilisation process today .

Participating GLCs and government linked investment companies include Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Lembaga Tabung Haji, Axiata Group, Malaysia Airlines, Proton Holdings, Pos Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia and UEM Group.

The prime minister this evening echoed his earlier speech about the risks of being “too dogmatic” when transforming the civil service.

He said Malaysia was fortunate to have inherited the British system and not the French or Spanish system but the drawback of such a system was that it was too “compartmentalised” and the nation should not get caught up in a “rigid system”.

“The system has served us well in the past but the world has become more complex and inter-connected. The same system cannot serve us well in a more sophisticated world.”

Najib has been on a mission to improve the government’s public delivery system since taking office, having identified it as one the main arouses against the Barisan Nasional.

The Najib administration had also earlier announced its Government Transformation Programme headed by Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon and Datuk Seri Idris Jala to help realise key performance indicators it had set for itself.

He also admitted that there was a need for the government to justify the high expenses of RM41 billion to maintain the civil service last year.

“The time has come for key positions in the public sector to be opened to talents from the private sector and GLCs and from services other than the administrative and diplomatic service.

“Under this concept, we would be able to benefit from ‘cross fertilisation’ process between talents from the civil service and private sector,” said Najib to thousands of civil servants at a special assembly here.

He asked the civil service to emulate the career development plan and head hunting process practiced by Petronas, PNB and Bank Negara in order to attract the best talent.

He also wanted civil servants to be seconded to GLCs for better exposure to the private sector.

In improving services, Najib wanted operational procedures to be revamped to ensure efficiency.

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